MINNEAPOLIS — A former Minneapolis police officer has been charged with federal civil rights violations and multiple counts of extortion and acquiring drugs, prosecutors announced Friday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said Ty Jindra abused his position as a Minneapolis police officer to obtain controlled substances, including meth, heroine and cocaine from September 2017 through October 2019. He got the drugs through deception, extortion and unconstitutional searches and seizures, prosecutors said.
Jindra made his initial court appearance Friday and was released with conditions.
U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said Jindra, 28, of Elk River, was charged with 11 counts, including acquiring controlled substances by deception, extortion under color of official right, and deprivation of rights under color of law.
Jindra's attorney, Peter Wold, said the investigation has been going on for about a year and, "I think we're ready to get the story out there in court. He's more than presumed innocent."
The indictment says that as part of his scheme, while he was working as a police officer, Jindra diverted controlled substances for his own purposes. Among other things, he did not report, log or place drugs into evidence. He also did not tell his partner or other officers about the drugs he confiscated, the indictment says.
On some occasions, Jindra searched people, vehicles or houses so he could recover controlled drugs without his partner's knowledge, and sometimes he conducted searches that went beyond the scope of a warrant, prosecutors said. At times, Jindra also turned off his body camera when he found drugs, they said.
The Minneapolis Police Department reported Jindra's actions to the FBI, which investigated the case.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder had no comment on the charges, but confirmed Jindra left the police department last month.
Wold said Jindra was on paid leave after the allegations came to light in 2019 and he resigned from the police department a couple of weeks ago for unrelated reasons. Wold said Jindra has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and is doing well after treatment.